Ready, set, shop!

November 21, 2012
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Here’s a news flash for those of you who have been hiding under a rock for the past month: Black Friday is upon us. Let the conspicuous consumption begin.

But before you blow the holiday budget on Midnight Madness deals and Tryptophan Thursday specials, independent shop owners want to make sure you know about Small Business Saturday.

Scheduled for Nov. 24, the three-year-old event sponsored by American Express is a pep rally of sorts for small retailers at risk of getting overlooked in the holiday frenzy.

I talked to more than a half-dozen local store owners this week, and every one of them said the promotion has increased consumers’ awareness—and their sales. (Click here for my story on what they're doing to attract shoppers.)

That’s particularly important now, when business is brisk enough to help retailers turn a profit for the year.

Homespun: Modern Homemade owner Amanda Taflinger, for example, said she uses proceeds from the holiday season to pre-pay rent on her Irvington shop and save cash to survive slow summer months.

“This is a critical time of year for us,” she said.

Results of the annual Small Business Consumer Insights Survey released this month showed that 67 percent of consumers aware of the promotion planned to “shop small” on Saturday. That’s up from 44 percent last year, according to American Express and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Small retailers offer a different shopping experience than most big-box stores, and supporters say their success has more of an impact on the community.

Organizers of the national 3/50 Project say for every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 returns to the community—versus $43 for the same $100 sale in a chain.

The initiative, launched in 2009, aims to “save the brick and mortars our nation is built on” by encouraging consumers to spend a total of $50 each month at three independent businesses.

According to the number crunchers, if half of the employed population followed that advice, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.

What’s your take on the “shop local” movement?  Will you patronize a small retailer this holiday season?

 

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  • Pop-ups
    My best wishes to those entrepreneurs making a go of it during these still challenging economic conditions. I was especially heartened to see "pop-ups" in long vacant storefronts downtown, like the small store on College Ave at Mass Ave, just around the corner from the restaurant 45 Degrees.

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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